Writing a book on poker

Gus Hansen

Gus Hansen

Lots of the top players have written books on win at poker. The current best selling poker book on Amazon is Every Hand Revealed by Gus Hansen. For those of you who don’t know who he is, check him up on Wikipedia or the HendonMob. He’s won almost $10 million in tournaments, although he’s only ever won a single WSOP bracelet.

I think he’s also gone bankrupt a couple of times. He’s a very loose player and he’s a favourite on TV. He’s crazy though and he’s the sort of player that goes on big swings.

Why did he write a book revealing how he plays? Doesn’t he know that this totally gives away his game and will probably make him easier to beat? He probably does know this, but thinks he can avoid it by changing his game up. I don’t know if he can.

The reason people write poker books is because they care more about fame than money. I think the main reason poker players play is not for the money but for the respect they get for winning. Being able to say I beat Phil Ivey or I beat 10,000 players to win a WSOP bracelet is better than the money.

If it was only about the money people then people would probably quit when they make a couple of million. But a poker player doesn’t really have much to do with his life so he keeps playing to pass the time. There’s also the adrenalin rush from playing for massive stakes, taking massive risks and outsmarting your opponent.

Which poker books do I recommend?

I don’t recommend playing. It’s a waste of a life, but if you want to play, reading about the game is about the best thing you can do. I recommend:

The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky – probably the best book on poker ever written.

I don’t recommend Super System by Doyle Brunson, but it is a poker classic.

Dan Harrington’s books on tournament poker are also good:

Harrington on Hold ’em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 1: Strategic Play

Harrington on Hold ’em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 2: Endgame

Lastly, I recommend watching the CardRunners videos. Watching GreenPlastic is the single thing that improved my game more than anything else.

Poker is a waste of time, but if you’re going to play, you might as well play properly.

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